Well, it sounds like a good title for a village inn.
I need to brush the dust off this blog. Again. Call it a spring cleaning, since the unseasonably mild weather seems to have England in its grip. It has woken up the hedgehogs.
As well as early flowers such as violets and lesser celandine, but that’s for another post. This one is full of that chubby little deer with a face of a teddy and the teeth of a tiger.
Chinese water deer are, of course, not native to the Norfolk Broads, but unlike our other introduced deer such as fallow and muntjac, are not considered to be invasive. They graze in tough marshy habitats and do little harm. They are not, strictly speaking, social; you see them dotted along the marsh, like so many readers in a library trying to pretend that they are alone.
But one of these deer had acquired a companion. See it lurking by the reeds?
Brown hares are rather big, and water deer are rather small, and seeing them together emphasises that point.
It looks like 10c will be shaved off our temperatures next week. Perhaps then the dusk light can stop pretending that it is summer.
Wishing a peaceful Christmas and a very Happy New Year to all!
I recently blogged my time in Romania, a country that still has sprawling meadows crammed with wildflowers. In Britain, we’re not so lucky; 97% of our lowland meadow is gone, swallowed up by the industrialisation of farmland.
The surviving fragments – that 3% – are often small and isolated. But some of those relics are magnificent.
Today is National Meadows Day in the UK – a celebration of those bits of wild grassland that we still have. I have some of the best meadows in England on my doorstep, some of which are protected as Sites of Special Scientific Interest or Sites of Nature Conservation Importance. Others are just sitting there, unprotected, which is not the most comfortable feeling.
What lives in them? Everything! Harvest mice, small reptiles, gorgeous butterflies, rare snails, bizarre fungi, and enough insects to befuddle my identification skills. I hardly have space to show all the flowers; a single square metre can host 15 species. Here’s a sample, anyway:
Perforate St John’s wort
Sainfoin and buttercup
These are places to walk softly and listen, and be dazzled by the sheer splendour of life.